Get As We Are Now: A Novel PDF

By May Sarton

A robust and lovely novella of 1 lady, consigned to a dreary retirement domestic, who wages a defiant conflict opposed to the dulling forces round her

After seventy-six-year-old Caro Spencer suffers a center assault, her family members sends her to a personal retirement domestic to attend out the remainder of her days.

Her reminiscence turning out to be fuzzy, Caro comes to a decision to maintain a magazine to rfile the day-by-day goings-on—her emotions of confinement and tedium; her mistrust of the home’s proprietor, Harriet Hatfield, and her daughter, Rose; her pity for the extra incapacitated citizens; her resentment of her brother, John, for leaving her on my own.

The magazine entries describe not just her frustrations, but in addition small moments of beauty—found in a welcome stopover at from her minister, or in looking at a fowl within the backyard.

But as she writes, Caro grows more and more delicate to the informal atrocities of retirement-home existence. while she recognizes her brain is starting to fail, she is set to struggle again opposed to the injustices foisted upon the home’s occupants.

This e-book gains a longer biography of may well Sarton.

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Extra resources for As We Are Now: A Novel

Sample text

Sundquist argues that the novel is governed for both character and reader by fragmentation, its motherless characters mirrored by the discontinuous, “orphaned” monologues that foster in its readers a sense of disarray and desolation (39), “the vacuum created by [Faulkner’s] own authorial absence . . bound up with the vacuum created by Addie’s death” (32). Sundquist’s reading of the novel’s challenges is highly compelling; the profound gaps and jumps—temporal, perceptual, affective, stylistic—that are the price of our progress through the work indeed radically underscore the lack of an obvious guide to help us along, and they manifest the threat of what a novel without a controlling intelligence might feel like.

William Faulkner and Gertrude Stein, for example, writing a mere three years apart, offer diametrically opposed but finally deeply consonant ruminations on relinquishing the authorial I. Each effects a theatrical self-effacement 26 INTRODUCTION and surrendering of narrative agency— Faulkner through maximal modernist stylization and formal innovation in As I Lay Dying, Stein by apparently backsliding into the anodyne voice and diction of The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas—that I read as no more than theater, in that both ultimately underscore authorial control rather than cede it.

For 18 INTRODUCTION Stewart, all of this serves “narrative interest itself” (5) rather than the pursuit of the author standing behind the text. Not only do I think Stewart’s formulations are apposite to discerning the author within what all these critics correctly describe as a textual environment far more conducive than is nineteenthcentury fiction to self-consciousness and thus to active reflection on the manner in which texts are made, but I also see his language as providing the beginning of a response to the limitations Wayne Booth draws on the tenor of author-reader interactions in The Rhetoric of Fiction (1961).

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